Tuesday 21 November 2017

Murder jury told to consider mental state of accused

Niamh O'Donoghue

The jury in the trial of a woman accused of murdering her husband by stabbing him over 60 times has been told to consider a verdict of diminished responsibility.

Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan told the jury that they should find Tanya Doyle not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter by diminished responsibility if they believed she was suffering from a mental disorder at the time of the killing.

The judge said they must consider diminished responsibility even if Ms Doyle's actions on that evening were pre-meditated.

Ms Doyle (40) of Pairc Gleann Trasna, Aylesbury, Tallaght has pleaded not guilty to murdering Paul Byrne (48) at that address on September 4, 2009.

Her defence told the jury at the start of the trial that it was admitted his client alone killed Mr Byrne and the issue in the trial would be Ms Doyle's mental state at the time she carried out the stabbing.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Paul O'Connell previously told the court his initial opinion was that the accused suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and was insane at the time she killed her husband.


But Dr O'Connell, who was called as a defence witness, said he changed this view saying she had schizoaffective disorder that would diminish her responsibility for the killing.

Professor Harry Kennedy of the Central Mental Hospital, giving evidence for the prosecution, said if Ms Doyle had a mental disorder or not, he did not think it played a major part in the alleged offence.

The prosecution told the jury that Ms Doyle was a devious, calculating, vicious person, was a deeply unreliable person and they could not believe anything she said.

The judge will continue charging the jury of seven men and five women today.

Irish Independent

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